Iran’s regime has offered a series of defiant responses to Saturday’s gun attacks on a military parade in the southwestern city of Ahvaz, killing at least 25 people and wounding 60.
At least eight Revolutionary Guards, as well as children, were among those killed. Iranian authorities said two attackers were killed, while giving conflicting statements about the fate of the other two gunmen.
The Islamic State, which killed 18 people in Tehran in June 2017, claimed responsibility for the attack. It wrongly suggested President Hassan Rouhani was speaking at the parade.
But Rouhani focused on Sunday on the US, claiming that it wants to create insecurity in Iran.
Just before leaving for the UN General Assembly in New York, Rouhani also implicitly blamed Iran’s regional rivals Saudi Arabia and the UAE, “The small puppet countries in the region are backed by America, and the United States is provoking them and giving them the necessary capabilities.”
The President asserted that the US will regret its “aggressiveness”: “Iran’s answer is forthcoming within the framework of law and our national interests.”
A written message from the Supreme Leader pressed the claims against Washington and Iran’s regional foes:
Their crime is a continuation of the conspiracies by the US-backed regimes in the region which have aimed at creating insecurity in our dear country. However, to their dismay, the Iranian nation will persist on the noble and prideful path they have taken and will—like before—overcome all animosities.
The tragic martyrdom of a group of our people in #Ahvaz at the hands of mercenary terrorists exposed atrocity & viciousness of enemies of Iranian nation. These heartless mercenaries who open fire on innocent women, children & men are dependents of bogus advocates of human rights. pic.twitter.com/aP6c0V1iCw
— Khamenei.ir (@khamenei_ir) September 22, 2018
On Sunday, Iran summoned diplomats from the UK, Denmark, and the Netherlands, claiming the three countries are harboring “members of the terrorist group” that launched the attack on a military parade in the country’s southwest.
Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Qassemi said Iran had “already warned” Denmark and the Netherlands over the alleged support. The UK was criticized for a supposed connection with a Saudi-linked, Farsi-language satellite channel which broadcast an interview with an Ahvazi separatist claiming the attack.
Iran has no direct diplomatic relations with the US, which withdrew from the 2015 nuclear deal in May and is planning comprehensive sanctions from November 5.